1. Province asks RCMP to investigate the CRDA
See Views, below. But also, news reports in the Chronicle Herald and CBC.
2. Who owns the dead whale?
There was a bit of a bureaucratic battle over which level of government was responsible for removing a whale carcass washed up on the Canso Causeway. The province wanted the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans to deal with it, but the feds said “nothing doing, that’s a Nova Scotian whale.” Can you imagine the emails going back and forth? Anyway, after a week the thing stunk so badly that the provincial Natural Resources Department broke down and hired a guy to wade out into the water, tie a rope around the tail of the whale, and tow it out to an uninhabited island, where some other guys buried it in the sand. The Herald’s Truro reporter, Aaron Beswick, tells the whale tale.
3. City looks into public wi-fi downtown
The city has issued a request for information, exploring bringing public wifi to downtown Dartmouth and Halifax. Which is all well and good, but what’s the first thing that pops into some people’s mind? Pop-up ads: “Take the Dartmouth Downtown Business Commission…maybe through public Wi-Fi, they’d be able to add a splash page of some type that would add to that experience,” Waterfront Development Corporation’s Colin MacLean told Metro.
4. Diner en Blanc is coming to Halifax
The foodie thing has jumped the shark. “Guests are required to bring their own chairs, dishes, and table decorations, with the option of bringing food, or pre-ordering a traditional French picnic from a Halifax charcuterie,” explains CTV. I’m so old, I remember when we went to restaurants, which had their own tables and chairs, and they even let you use their dishes. There was some kid in the back who would wash the dishes…
5. We are no longer hardy Maritimers
“Tough” is the first word that comes to mind when recalling Nova Scotians of the 18th and 19th centuries, even into the 20th. Working for peanuts, salting cod. Living in remote outport villages and farms, where it could take months to hear from the rest of the world. Making it through the winter on onions and leeks grown in kitchen gardens. Gritting it through blizzards and hurricanes that came with no notice. Man, those people were tough, tough, tough. No longer. One simple low-grade tropical storm, forecast a week ahead of arrival, sends us into a tizzy. People lived in Nova Scotia for roughly 15,000 years without electricity or phone service, but give it three days in 2014, and they’re up in arms. I’m not ridiculing—we’ve structured our lives such that living without modern technology really is a hardship, especially for those on the short end of the economic stick. Just, things have sure changed.
1. The “economic development” grift
Yesterday, the province released a damning audit of the Cumberland Regional Development Authority. I unpacked the audit, and explained that corruption is endemic to the “economic development” industry, by design. That article is behind the Halifax Examiner paywall, and so is only available to paid subscribers. To purchase a subscription, click here.
2. E-cigarettes: hero or villain?
Lezlie Lowe explores both sides of the issue. I don’t know either, but I think fears of e-cigs becoming a thing are overblown. Can you picture Humprey Bogart lighting up an e-cig? Just doesn’t work. Oh, since I’m Canadian now, I have to throw pointless references to Canada into my commentary: Charlie Allnut was supposedly Canadian, which makes no sense whatsoever.
Government & Campus
Are you kidding? It’s Friday in July.
I met Liz Feltham when I was charged with editing her restaurant review column in The Coast. Of course, I don’t know especially much about food and find most food writing incredibly, well, vapid. In other words, I’m the worst food column editor in the world. But thankfully, Liz always sent in perfect copy that was actually interesting; all I had to do was slap a headline on that puppy and I was done with it. In the years since, we’ve been friendly with each other, if not actual friends. I’ve followed her blog, Food4Thought, but she seemed to have slipped off the radar screen lately, with long waits between new posts. Well, now it becomes clear why: she’s been going through all the preparations of packing her life together and moving to Victoria. That’s a big loss for Halifax, but she’ll no doubt settle in and start posting again on a regular basis. I wish her well.
In the harbour
(Click on vessel names for pictures and more information about the ships)
Reykjafoss, container ship, Reykjavik, Iceland to Pier 41
Fusion, ro-ro cargo, St. Pierre to TBD
Alsterstern, oil/chemical tanker, St. John’s for bunkers and compass swing.
Zim Tarragona, container ship,Tarragona to Pier 41
Reykjafoss to Portland
Ocean Emerald to Mariel
Barkald – to sea..
Fusion to St Pierre
Alsterstern to sea.
Zim Tarragona to New York
Ships still rely on magnetic compases. A magnetic compass is influenced by large concentrations of metal (like a ship itself); a compass swing is performed, to check the error between what the compass actually reads and what it should read. This is then recorded in a table for various points as the ship does a 360 degree circle since the error varies in direction; this way, when the compass is read, the error can be corrected.
WDC has announced that the Tall Ship STV Lord Nelson will be in Halifax Aug 2-3.
For reasons that are too boring to explain, I’m using Stripe rather than PayPal as the default for buying subscriptions. Some people, however, don’t have credit cards but are happy to use PayPal, so I’ve activated an account. If you’d like to buy a subscription via PayPal, please contact me at email@example.com, and I’ll set you up. You can also buy a subscription with a cheque or email transfer.
“Ships still rely on magnetic compasses.” When the electronic gismos fail there is nothing quite so reliable as a chart and compass. And a lighthouse . Which is why it’s a problem when the gov’t decommissions lighthouses and removes fairway buoys, particularly for smaller craft. ( The engine in a small boat will have the same effect on the compass.)